The Underwater Life in Istanbul is the project to screen the underwater life by photo and video graphing around Bosporus and the Princess Islands.

The first and foremost project to document the underwater environment of Istanbul. The project is sponsored by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Published as a book, an open air exhibition & a documentary film.

“There have appeared so many reasons that one could hardly become motionless” explains Mr. Baloglu. “Questions” he adds “are the points to move; Are people of this unique city aware of the beauties beneath there, under the sea? Are really still there survivors of the natural life in the Marmara Sea? Do we get positive results from those underwater cleaning works or is it too late and irreversible? What are the children bound to inherit? A Sea from where the life itself thrives or an infertile non-promising desert?”

There have been immense amount of investment to revive the seas which had been heavily deteriorated. We are to urge people to come forward and join to save and protect the seas which, now we may well observe, have regaining their vitality. How could it be possible? We do believe that in order to protect we need to have a strong obligation to learn. We do not deprive of what we do not know. We shall fall deprived.

This is the moral of the aforementioned project in the waters of Istanbul, a water place where the life of the continents combines and melts into the future.

Mr. Baloğlu and his team of divers performed many dives, lasting 15 days, on 20 different spots of the surrounding waters of Istanbul in May. The underwater life of these waters has then been documented in 3060 underwater photographs, 4100 photographs on land and a 25 hours long video record.

Taksim Square hosted all these documents to exhibit to the people of Istanbul in open air for 20 days. A book of 224 pages and an 80 minutes long documentary film both were published. Istanbulians paid great attention and interest in these works. They have now started learning and joining the protection action.

Along with the dives in the Bosporus Strait like Anadolu Feneri, Ortaköy, Bebek and Çengelköy, the frequent bumps into the sea horses which are hopelessly in the list of endangered species were most exhilarating. Many other species and return of listed commercially important ones noted the stubborn hooking of the species onto the life. Schools of dolphins frolicked after the shoals of fish, indicating the productivity of the same life.

The nudibrach we have documented in the waters of Haliç (The Golden Horn) suggested hope. It was the same Golden Horn in which no living creature could have survived in recent years very due to the heavy pollution. Mating craps and the vast amount of larval forming in the water samples of the Golden Horn planted hope into the future.

Not alone we did document the precise being of soft corals but the ongoing long walks of the lobsters also exhilarated us. Besides the fish, there also are nudibranches, anemones, sponge, species of the craps and many other kinds now down there around this mega city.

The book of the project, The Underwater Life in Istanbul, has another eccentric part. When observed by supplied two color spectacles, a viewer will find 3D photographs, bringing the species right before the viewer, an arm long distance.

Dive sites:

Poyraz Harbour
Fil Point
Türkeli Feneri
Anadolu Lighthouse
Unkapanı Bridge
Haliç Water Jet
Balat Port
Maiden’s Tower
Bostancı 2nd  Revolving Lighthouse
Büyükada Revolving Lighthouse
Balıkçı Island

Underwater Life of Istanbul by numbers:

Between 16 May – 4 June 2006;
60 dives have been accomplished,
In 15 diving days,
In 20 different dive sites,
With a team of 15 persons.
45 hours underwater time.
Shallowest dive 5 m. deepest dive 35 m.
Water temperature; between 6 – 15 C
4100 land pictures
3060 underwater pictures
25 hours land footage
15 hours underwater footage
10 hours ROV footage